View from Calstock Quay

The road up from the Quay leads to a narrow junction, to the left of which is Commercial Road. To the right are 2 roads, the closer one leading back to the Quay, making The Tamar Inn a roundabout. The second is Fore Street, the main commercial centre of the village.  Behind the central white building is Back Lane, a pedestrians-only route, running approximately parallel to Commercial Road and eventually joining it at the foot of Sand Lane.

In the 1950s, the white building (1) with the large ground floor windows was the shop of Wilkins & Rowse, bakers. Amongst other items which they baked and sold was the local speciality of 'saffron cake'. Their bakery was situated off to the right, below Fore Street. The junction was also known as Bickle's Corner, named after the previous owner.

At that time, the single-storied cream building (2) housed the barber shop of a Williams family and the adjacent building (3) was used as a lock-up workshop (once rented by my father, who nailed a horseshoe to the door).

In Back Lane (hidden from view), was a Fish & Chip shop (4) which served both visitors brought by steamers and local inhabitants.  Also serving the tourist trade (and with a juke box for the local youth) was the Riverside Cafe, at that time run by John & Shirley Highman.  The building has been renovated and is out of picture, to the left of the photographer on the bank of the Tamar. (5) shows the top of the former Baptist Chapel in Back Lane.

The Riverside Cafe, as it was in the late 1950s / 1960s

Tourists arrived by coach and river. The steamers, such as the Tamar Belle and the Western Belle (see this website for more details), brought many visitors but their timetables were very dependent on the tides. Normal tidal differences at Cotehele Quay are about 3m (10 feet).